Now that summer is in full swing and the weather is hot, backyard pools seem like a welcome source of relief.
But, while pools are fun, they can also be quite dangerous, especially for young children. In fact, drowning is the most common cause of accidental death for young children. Most pool accidents happen in private homes.
There are steps that both pool owners and parents can take to help kids stay safe.
Safety tips for pool owners
Everyone who owns a pool has a duty to make sure it is as safe as possible. Consider the following tips:
- Keep your pool fenced in. Make sure the gates are self-closing and self-latching. Make sure the fence is high enough that a child cannot climb over it.
- Use a pool cover. Keep your pool or hot tub covered when you’re not using it. This will deter children from jumping in.
- Install a pool alarm that goes off whenever someone enters the pool unexpectedly.
- Check your drain covers. Loose drain covers can come off and cause a child to be suctioned to the bottom of the pool, where they can drown or become seriously injured.
Safety tips for parents
Parents can help prevent accidents by teaching their children how to behave safely near pools and by monitoring their behavior. Here are some strategies to try.
- It is never ok to sneak in. Make sure your kids know that they can only use a pool with permission, and with an adult present.
- Use life jackets. If you have any doubt about your child’s ability to swim, make sure they wear a life jacket whenever they are near a pool.
- Enforce safe behaviors. Avoiding dangerous behaviors like running, roughhousing and diving can help eliminate accidents.
- Designate a responsible adult. At a party, designate someone to keep an eye on the pool at all times. Accidents can happen in the blink of an eye.
By following these tips, you can help make sure that the summer is safe and fun for everyone.